Tales of an Almost Professional, Twenty-Something Year Old Playwright

Anthony J. Piccione

Vol. IV - 31 Plays in 31 Days 2015

In July 2015 – after seeing a post in the “Official Playwrights of Facebook” group – I discovered some information about an ambitious, month-long challenge that was being held for the 2nd year in a row for playwrights across the world, the title of which was fairly self-explanatory: The 31 Plays in 31 Days challenge. As the title suggests, the goal is for any playwright who participates to write one short play (each one can essentially be as long as the playwright wants) for each day in the month of August – with playwrights documenting their progress during the challenge on social media – in the hopes of getting more playwrights to actually write more during the year, and also so that more playwrights would have a chance at writing something that gets produced.

Needless to say, anyone who knows me well knows what my instant reaction was when I heard about this: challenge accepted.

Because I was beginning the challenge right after finishing up a 24 Hour Play Festival at Playhouse on Park Theatre, and was going to be writing at least half of my 31 plays that month as I was working at New Britain Youth Theater and writing for On Stage, I knew from that this would be a worthy challenge for a young playwright such as myself. So I did everything I could – from creating dozens of outlines very early on in the challenge to using my Celtx scriptwriting app on my phone – to make sure that I could get as much writing done as I could, whenever I could.

Thankfully, the people in charge of the challenge posted daily writing prompts to inspire all the participating playwrights as they were taking the challenge. I’m not gonna lie, I rarely used these prompts when I was writing my own work. But when I did, they really did come in handy. I also was interviewed early on in the challenge, and as part of the interview, I was given two short playwriting prompts to use as part of the challenge that helped give me a bit of a head-start. So thankfully, I don’t think I had that much trouble in terms of coming up with material to write.

Eventually, while I’ll admit that I was able to get more writing done on certain days than on others, I actually ended up completing the challenge TWO DAYS EARLY on August 29th. By the end of the challenge, I had actually been able to come up with 31 very different plays from some different genres. Some of them were longer than others, with the majority of them being SUPER short. Nonetheless, I still wrote a total of 31 new plays in August without going (completely) insane. ;) If you ask me, that’s not a bad way to cap off a summer when you’re a young playwright, and I hope that maybe I’ll get to do it again in the summer of 2016.

For now, below is the full list of the plays I wrote for the 31 Plays in 31 Days challenge for anyone who is interested, all of which are available on the New Play Exchange.

1. Awkward Times in Randall Hall

2. Father and Sister

3. No Reason for Faith

4. That Socially Awkward Guy

5. The Personality Play

6. The Actor’s Last Speech

7. Adolf in Argentina

8. A Play About Nothing

9. The Beautiful Caterpillar

10. Seeing Theatre at the Theater

11. The Legend of the Lost Keys

12. Goodbye Neverland

13. Somebody! Anybody! Please Help!

14. The Hypocrisy of the Cruel

15. The Guy with the Wrong Tattoo

16. #CharacterLivesMatter

17. The Vain Painter

18. Mr. Sanchez Grows a Mustache

19. The Psychopath Speaks

20. Banished

21. Okay, Who Farted?

22. Fifty Shades of Doritos

23. The Sorcerer’s Impedance

24. Activate the Dance Floor!

25. The Jump

26. The Curse

27. You Can STILL Hear It?!

28. I Object!

29. Don’t I Know You

30. Getting Spooked

31. The Procrastinating Playwright

This column was written by Anthony J. Piccione: Student, playwright, actor, poet and blogger currently based in Connecticut. To learn more about Anthony and his work, please visit his personal blog at www.anthonyjpiccione.tumblr.com. Also, be sure to like him on Facebook(www.facebook.com/AnthonyJPiccione.OfficialPage), follow him on Twitter (@A_J_Piccione) and view his work on the New Play Exchange (www.newplayexchange.org/users/903/anthony-j-piccione).